RealNews

Early-warning system tests county daily for signs of bioterrorism

Government chemists in San Diego County are testing daily for airborne anthrax, smallpox and other evidence of bioterrorism as part of an unprecedented program quietly launched a month ago by the Department of Homeland Security. Monitors for detecting viruses and bacteria have been placed in an undisclosed number of cities that include San Diego and Boston, according to sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because the information is classified. Officials from agencies participating in the program, including the Department of Homeland Security, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency, declined to name the cities, saying they didn’t want to hand terrorists a list of unprotected areas. But they described the “Bio-watch” program as a way to detect bioterrorism weeks before symptoms are noticed, giving authorities a head start in fighting the spread of disease. Full Story

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